Walmart will pay for the city of Burbank's defense against a lawsuit filed in an effort to block or at least stall the world's largest retailer's plans to open a store near the Empire Center.
The City Council has decided to defend the lawsuit, which alleges certain street improvements must be made before the Walmart can open, council members hired the Costa Mesa-based law firm of Rutan and Tucker during a recent closed-session meeting.
Later, City Atty. Amy Albano announced the decision during an open meeting and said Walmart would pay for the defense costs.
Albano said Walmart is obliged to pay for the defense under an agreement reached with the developer of the Empire Center in 2000.
Before the Empire Center opened, Sears bought property in the development to construct a Great Indoors store. Walmart then bought the building last year.